by SHARON CHANG
The Occupy Wall Street movement, also known as “The 99%,” is not only growing in New York, but also spreading rapidly across the country and around the world.
Citizens are protesting due to the current economic and unemployment crisis. People are losing their jobs, and many college graduates cannot even obtain employment due to the current economic situation.
There are too few jobs that pay high enough to afford the health care and education costs that are rising day by day.
In order to get their voices heard, the unemployed and dispossessed are protesting. They have staged protests across the nation, including New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa, Arizona, Oregon, and more. People from all walks of life have joined together to rally against the “1%” of the population that controls most of the wealth.
Sergeant Bill Perry of the 101 Airborne Division was arrested for being a part of the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City.
“We spent about eight hours in jail. They took us to the 75th police precinct. But when the arresting officers saw my military patches, they were very respectful of my service. And I had a much easier time there because of that,” says Perry.
On October 13, 2011, New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited the protest site at Zucocoti Park himself. He is considering evicting “The 99 Percenters” because of the mess the protest is creating. He is not opposed to the protest itself, but the way the protestors are conducting themselves. Despite this response, the protestors are still going strong.
However, “The 99 Percenters” continue to receive negative responses from authorities. On Saturday October 15, security guards at Citibank lockedcustomers inside and arrested 24 Occupy Wall Street members as they attempted to close their accounts. As the police loaded the protestors in wagons, a crowd of Occupy Wall Street protestors surrounded it chanting, “Let them go!”
Reports estimate that about 1,000 protestors marched to Citibank during the public demonstration.
After many more arrests, both retired and former Marines chose to get involved to help protect protestors. Having the Marines on the protestor’s side will have a big impact on how this situation will end.
Not only have the Marines been involved, but the well-known ice cream brand “Ben & Jerry’s” has also become involved. The board of directors issued a “We stand with you” statement in support of the Occupy Wall Street protestors. Even celebrities such as artists Kanye West, Russell Simmons, and Radiohead, as well as actors Susan Sarandon and Mark Ruffalo also surprisingly showed up at the Occupy Wall Street protest. Many more celebrities have pledged their support online such as sci-fi actors Wil Wheaton and George Takei.
“The 99%” are continuing to protest day and night until they get what they want. The amount of people protesting is rising as more people lose their job. Even as the weather turns colder and more brutal, there seems to be no end in sight for the protestors.